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5 Reasons You Have To See 'Somewhere,' Sofia Coppola's Brilliant Meditation On Fame!

Thu, January 6, 2011 2:46pm EDT by William Earl Add first Comment

Stephen Dorff & Elle Fanning deliver powerhouse performances.

Most reviews of the work of writer-director Sofia Coppola mention she is the daughter of Hollywood heavyweight Francis Ford Coppola, who directed many classic movies, including The Godfather trilogy. But Somewhere, her fourth film, will be the piece which definitively lifts her out of her father’s shadow.

Somewhere returns Sofia’s gaze to Hollywood, a place she last examined in her brilliant 2003 film Lost In Translation. Her latest follows the life of Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), a disillusioned Tinseltown bad boy who is holed away at the Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Boulevard, wasting his days trapped in the excess of fame. But a surprise visit from his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) inspires him to reassess his life.

If you’re not sure a quiet, thoughtful trip into the psyche of the rich and famous is right for you, here are five reasons why you should go see Somewhere:

  1. Stephen is not particularly known for his strong acting skills. But this is the role which will open up his career to bigger and better scripts. It may not seem like a stretch for a hardened, bad-boy movie star to play a hardened, bad-boy movie star, but his nuance sets him apart from his peers.
  2. One of Sofia’s trademarks is the re-appropriation of pop music in interesting ways, and it’s fascinating to hear older radio staples such as Gwen Stefani‘s “Cool” and Foo Fighters‘ “My Hero” positioned in emotional scenes.
  3. Every shot in the film is deliberately plotted, making for a visually arresting foray into the California sun.
  4. Sofia has said the film is based on her personal experiences as a young girl behind the scenes with Hollywood elite, so the small details she writes into her script make the story feel intimate and authentic.
  5. Though the emotional discovery is intense, there are several moments of well-placed humor, ranging from laugh-out-loud to cringe-worthy subtlety.

And if you need a sixth reason, pull one from the trailer below:

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— William Earl